Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Courage X Ale 1914-1918

Yes. I have finished my table of Courage's beer during WW I. You'll be pig sick of it in a day or two.

Let's kick off with X Ale. The most popular beer of the day and a good barometer of the war's impact on beer and drinkers.


Courage X Ale 1914 - 1918
Date Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Attenuation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) boil time (hours) Pitch temp dry hops (oz / barrel) pale malt black malt crystal malt no. 3 sugar black invert glucose other sugar flaked maize primings total
17th Oct 1914 X Mild 1054.57 1019.39 4.65 64.47% 5.00 1.05 2 2 1 60º 0.00 82.78%
6.11%


11.11%

100.00%
8th Mar 1915 X Mild 1049.86 1018.28 4.18 63.33% 4.00 0.78 1.5 2 1 60º 0.00 82.78%
6.11%


11.11%

100.00%
23rd Sep 1915 X Mild 1048.20 1011.08 4.91 77.01% 4.96 0.96 2 2 1 64º 0.00 82.39%
6.34%


11.27%

100.00%
11th Oct 1916 X Mild 1048.20 1007.20 5.42 85.06% 5.00 0.97 2 2 1 60º 0.00 82.78%
6.11%


11.11%

100.00%
9th May 1916 X Mild 1044.87 1006.93 5.02 84.57% 6.51 1.18 1.5 2 1 60º 0.00 76.92%
5.77%


12.82% 4.49%
100.00%
2nd Jan 1917 X Mild 1045.71 1009.97 4.73 78.18% 3.88 0.76 1.5 2 1 60º 0.00 66.12%
8.03% 14.01%


6.18% 5.66% 100.00%
5th Jan 1917 X Mild 1045.71 1009.42 4.80 79.39% 3.85 0.76 1.5 2 1 60º 0.00 66.04%
8.02% 13.84%


6.13% 5.97% 100.00%
24th Apr 1917 X Mild 1045.71 1008.03 4.98 82.42% 4.81 0.95 1.5 2 1 60º 0.00 52.92%
6.38% 30.61%


5.10% 4.99% 100.00%
8th Jun 1917 X Mild 1041.55 1007.20 4.54 82.67% 8.72 1.16 1.5 2 1 60º 0.00 70.27%
10.81% 14.41%



4.50% 100.00%
19th Oct 1917 X Mild 1034.63 1006.37 3.74 81.60% 7.57 1.13 1.5 2 1 59º 0.00 70.59% 1.53% 12.28% 6.14% 2.05%


7.42% 100.00%
9th Nov 1917 X Mild 1034.63 1008.03 3.52 76.80% 7.57 1.14 1.5 2 1 59º 0.00 69.17% 1.50% 12.03% 8.02% 2.01%


7.27% 100.00%
18th Jan 1918 X Mild 1034.63 1006.93 3.66 80.00% 7.38 1.13 1.5 2 1 61º 0.00 70.59% 1.60% 12.03% 8.56%



7.22% 100.00%
20th Apr 1918 X Mild 1023.82 1004.43 2.57 81.40% 9.41 1.01 1.5 2 1 61º 0.00 64.60% 2.65% 16.81% 7.08%



8.85% 100.00%
19th Jul 1918 X Mild 1022.16 1004.43 2.35 80.00% 10.48 1.00 1.5 2 1 61º 0.00 67.05% 3.44% 16.33%

7.45%

5.73% 100.00%
19th Nov 1918 X Mild 1021.05 1003.88 2.27 81.58% 10.89 1.01 1.5 1.5 1 62º 0.00 60.20% 5.02% 18.06%

10.03%

6.69% 100.00%
Sources:
Documents held in the Courage Archives at the London Metropolitan Archives: ACC/2305/08/247, ACC/2305/08/248, ACC/2305/08/249, ACC/2305/08/250



You'll see how the gravity dropped rapidly after 1917. Interestingly, the grist also became more complex. Were they trying to compensate for the reduction in gravity? Or were they just using whatever ingredients they could get? Or a combination of the two.

The approach of Courage contrasts with that of Whitbread. Courage stuck with a single type of Mild, one which eventually was pretty weak. Whitbread brewed 3 different strengths of Mild, with OG's of: 1038.1, 1023.7 and 1011.4. Barclay Perkins were more like Courage. By early 1918 they were brewing just one Mild, Ale 4d, with a gravity of 1025.5.

Back to hop addition tomorrow. I think. Could be more Courage in WW I. It all depends on my mood.

2 comments:

First Stater said...

As a homebrewer I find these OG's hard to understand. Why even bother putting the costs of manufacturing into such a weak product. They could have quadrupled the OG to an outrageous 1.045, diluted it down and taken off for a 5 day weekend. I don't think the flavor would have dropped off much more than it had.

Ron Pattinson said...

First Stater, it's very simple: because they were told to brew to these strengths by the government.

This was the dilemma: only a third of the pre-war materials were available for brewing. Either they could have brewed a third of the amount of beer - which would have pissed off all the munitions workers - or drastically cut gravities.